COVID-19 information for families

Updated November 22, 2021

You can be confident that Guiding will be there for girls this year – with all the safety protocols you’ve come to expect from us.

All girls 12+, adult members and non-member volunteers must be fully vaccinated to take part in in-person activities. This includes indoor and outdoor activities, regular unit meetings, camping and outdoor experiences, and in-person cookie selling. Members who do not self-declare they are vaccinated will be offered opportunities to participate in Guiding virtually.

Our Return to In-Person Guiding protocols are informed by recommendations from Ministries of Public Health across the country and we are continually monitoring current COVID-19 data in every region. 

Quick link: COVID-19 Self-Assessment Check List

Please complete the check list before every weekly unit meeting. A Guider will confirm that you have completed the Self-Assessment when you arrive at the activity. You do not need to bring a paper copy to the meeting.


Quick link: Can I go to Guiding if...

Our goal is to keep everyone safe and healthy. Use this document to answer commonly asked questions about whether you can attend in-person Guiding activities or if you should stay home.


COVID-19 vaccination policy

COVID-19 vaccination is required for all girls ages 12+, adult members, and non-member volunteers to participate in any in-person Guiding activity. This will help reassure members that Girl Guides are doing our part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and that we’re prioritizing your safety when participate in Guiding activities.

All girls registered by the start of the Guiding year received a personalized link to self-declare their vaccination status and can use this at any time should their vaccination status change. New members will receive a link within two business days of registering, and be temporarily removed from their unit until they have self-declared as fully vaccinated.

Vaccination policy FAQs

Why is Girl Guides implementing a vaccine policy?

Girl Guides of Canada is a leader in safety – it’s something we’re known for.

While we want every girl to come together to have fun and make friends at Girl Guides, above all our focus remains on putting the health and safety of every girl, volunteer, family, and community we are part of at the forefront of any decision we make. This is why we have decided to implement a COVID-19 vaccine policy for all in-person Guiding activities.

As case numbers rise amid the fourth wave of the pandemic, we want to do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19 and follow through on our promise to take action for a better world. We also want to make sure it is possible for units to safely gather at their meeting location and attend third-party activities and other events or venues that now require vaccination.

Therefore, COVID-19 vaccination will be required for all girls ages 12+, adult members and non-member volunteers to participate in in-person Girl Guide activities.

Who does this vaccine policy apply to?

Our vaccine policy states that COVID-19 vaccination is required to participate in any in-person Guiding activities. This applies to:

  • Any person attending and participating in an in-person GGC activity
  • All adult members attending an in-person activity, no matter their role in Guiding
  • All girl members aged 12 and older attending an in-person activity (e.g., their own unit meeting or a unit that they’re a Junior Leader in)
  • Visitors joining the unit in person (including girls dropping in for Try Now Join Later or bring-a-friend events, as well as Third Party Service Providers, etc.)
  • Non-members attending in-person GGC meetings, events, activities, etc.
The vaccine policy does not apply to:
Someone picking-up or dropping-off a girl at an in-person Guiding meeting or activities. During pick-up and drop-off, the Return to In-Person Guiding protocols, must be followed including the requirement to physically distance at all times and remain outdoors for pick-up and drop-off.

*New* Will Girl Guides of Canada’s vaccination policy be updated to include members between the ages of 5 and 11 now that Health Canada has approved COVID-19 vaccines for this age group?

At this time, GGC has not made the decision to update our vaccination policy to include 5 to 11-year-olds. We will continue to monitor the vaccine rollout across Canada in the coming months and any updates to the policy will be shared with our volunteers and Guiding families.

What activities does this vaccine policy apply to?

If it’s an in-person Guiding activity, vaccination is required. This means our vaccine policy applies to:

  • Unit meetings In-person cookie sales
  • Outdoor activities including campfires, camping, hiking, skating, etc.
  • Indoor activities including movies, museums, sports games, etc.
  • Traveling
  • Adult-only in-person activities, such as Trefoil Guild meetings, trainings, Guiders meeting up for unit planning, etc.

Who decided to make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory at GGC?

The decision to implement this vaccine policy was made by GGC’s senior leadership in response to provincial mandates, and in order to keep the health and safety of every girl, volunteer, family and community we are a part of at the forefront of all that we do at Girl Guides.

What will happen to my daughter’s membership if she is not fully vaccinated or does not have a verified exemption?   

Members must have confirmed that they are fully vaccinated or have received an exemption so that they can continue taking part in in-person Guiding activities.

Those who declared to be partially vaccinated, not vaccinated, not planning to be vaccinated, who have not received a staff-verified exemption, or have not declared their vaccination status cannot attend any in-person Guiding activities. These individuals will be promptly removed from their unit rosters, and will be contacted via email regarding the following available options:

  • Transferring to a virtual-only unit – she can continue experiencing program, earning badges, and connecting with friends virtually.  
  • Becoming a Girl Member-at-Large – maintain her membership and connection to Girl Guides for the rest of the 2021-2022 Guiding year, but she will not participate in programming.  
  • Cancelling her membership – withdraw from Guiding altogether. 

How will my daughter’s vaccination declaration information be collected?

Families of girls 12+ received an email, during the week of October 4, with instructions on how to provide their daughter's vaccination declaration. All new girls who join Girl Guides will receive an email with instruction on how to self-declare their vaccination status.

In jurisdictions where a vaccine appointment cannot be booked until a girl's 12th birthday, families will receive an email on or around their daughter's birthday with instruction on how to declare their daughter's vaccination status.

Non-member volunteers have also received an email with instructions on how to provide their personal vaccination declaration.

How do I know whether a unit meets in-person or virtual-only?

When you have found a unit you are interested in on our Unit Finder, check under the “Additional Notes” section. Here it will state if the unit meets virtually only or in person.

To attend in-person Girl Guide activities, girl members 12+ must have confirmed that they are fully vaccinated or have a staff verified exemption. Newly registered girls will be temporarily removed from the unit until their vaccination status is declared.

Note: if you live in a province/jurisdiction where you cannot book a vaccine appointment for your daughter until her 12th birthday, there will be a three-month grace period to become fully vaccinated. This grace period means that she will not be removed from her unit and may attend in-person. When the grace period is over if she is not fully vaccinated, she will be removed from her unit.

I recently registered my daughter and am waiting for her personalized declaration link. Can she attend in-person meetings with her unit in the meantime?

No. Members age 12+ must have confirmed that they are fully vaccinated or have received verification of an approved exemption to attend in-person Girl Guide activities.

Please watch for an email containing a personalized declaration link for your daughter(s) within two business days of her registration. She will be able to join her unit for in-person activities as soon as you self-declare her vaccination status as fully vaccinated.

Note: if you live in a province/jurisdiction where you cannot book a vaccine appointment for your daughter until her 12th birthday, there will be a three-month grace period to become fully vaccinated. This grace period means that she will not be removed from her unit and may attend in-person. If she is not fully vaccinated when this grace period is over, she will be removed from her unit.

I recently registered my daughter and got an email saying that she’s been removed from her unit until her vaccine status can be confirmed – what does this mean? 

To attend in-person Girl Guide activities, girl members aged 12+ must have declared that they are fully vaccinated or have a staff verified exemption.

Families will be sent a personalized link to provide the vaccination status for their daughter(s) within two business days of registering their daughter. She will be temporarily removed from her unit between the date of registration and the date her vaccination declaration is received, and she is added to her unit roster. Our team is working diligently to ensure this process is as quick as possible.

Note: until your daughter’s vaccination status is declared, she may not attend in-person Girl Guide activities.

My daughter’s vaccination status changed to fully vaccinated, and she wants to return to her unit. How does this work?

Should your daughter’s vaccination status change to fully vaccinated, please self-declare using her personalized link. Once this declaration has been submitted, a member of the team will connect with you to arrange her transition back to an in-person unit.

If you cannot find her personalized link, search for the subject line “Vaccination status declaration” or if you require a new one to be generated, please email info@girlguides.ca

What vaccination status will I be able to declare for my daughter?

When self-declaring your daughter's vaccination status, you will have the option to select from the following options:

  • Fully vaccinated – By selecting this option you declare that it has been 14 days after receiving all required doses of any Health Canada approved vaccine or vaccination combination
  • Planning to be vaccinated / partially vaccinated – By selecting this option you declare to have not yet received all required doses of a vaccine or vaccination combination approved by Health Canada
  • Not vaccinated / not planning to be vaccinated – By selecting this option you declare that you are choosing not to receive any vaccination
Exempt – By selecting this option, you are requesting a medical exemption. Please note that proof of any medical exemption is required and will be requested once a member submits this declaration.

 

What does “fully vaccinated” mean?

Someone is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving the final dose of a vaccine series approved by Health Canada, in the recommended dosage and vaccine combination for the vaccine received.

My daughter was removed from her unit even though she is fully vaccinated, what do I do?

In this unlikely event, please contact info@girlguides.ca.

Can I request an exemption from mandatory COVID-19 vaccination so my daughter can participate in in-person Guiding?

Members who have proof of valid medical exemptions as per their home province or territory’s mandates, or the National Advisory Committee on Immunization’s recommendations on the use of COVID-19 vaccines in provinces without mandates, will be permitted to participate in in-person Guiding activities. When completing the self-declaration, it will be possible to request a medical exemption. Please note that proof of this medical exemption is required and will be requested after a member completes this self-declaration.

Is my daughter’s vaccine information confidential? Who will have access to her vaccine information?

Any vaccine-related information collected will be kept strictly confidential, and will only be visible to staff who are required to verify and ensure that members have declared.

Individual vaccine status will not be visible on unit rosters or to Unit Guiders.

Will Girl Guides of Canada collect proof of my daughter’s vaccination status? (e.g., vaccine passport)

At this time, Girl Guides will not be collecting proof of vaccination. However, we may require members to upload their proof of vaccination at a later date for verification by a staff member.

Proof of medical exemption is required upon request of an exemption and will be verified by a staff member confidentially.

I did not receive a link to declare my daughter's status, what do I do?

Regular reminders will be sent to families with the personalized link to self-declare their daughter's vaccination status. If you did not see the first email come through, please keep checking for a follow-up email. If you still have not received the self-declaration link, reach out to info@girlguides.ca so that our team can reissue your daughter's unique link.

Please note that links for all girl members are unique and therefore cannot be forwarded from one family to another.

My daughter’s unit is planning an outing with a Third-party Service Provider (TPSP). How will this vaccine policy apply to these activities?

In the event that proof of vaccination is required by a Third-Party Service Provider or venue (e.g., unit going to a movie theatre, sports arena) it is each individual’s responsibility to provide this information. Girl Guides will not be collecting this information to provide on anyone’s behalf. Guiders should ensure that parents also understand this when planning an event or activity.

If providing proof of vaccination is not required, how do I know people will self-declare truthfully?

GGC also trusts the integrity of its members and families to respond truthfully, to stay true to their commitment to ensuring that girls can experience Guiding in a safe environment and to remain committed to following the Code of Conduct. However, GGC may ask for proof of vaccination at any point in the future.

In the event proof of vaccination is required by a Third-Party Service Provider or venue (e.g., our unit going to a movie theatre, sports arena), it is each individual’s responsibility to provide this information. Girl Guides will not be collecting this information to provide this on anyone’s behalf. Guiders should ensure that parents also understand this.

My daughter wants to be a Junior Leader – does she need to be vaccinated?

To attend in-person Girl Guide activities, girl members age 12+ must have confirmed that they are fully vaccinated or have a staff verified exemption. This includes girls that wish to volunteer with a younger group.

Note: if you live in a province/jurisdiction where you cannot book a vaccine appointment for your daughter until her 12th birthday, there will be a three-month grace period to become fully vaccinated. This grace period means that she will not be removed from her unit or Junior Leader position and may attend in-person. When the grace period is over if she is not fully vaccinated, she will be removed from her unit and Junior Leader position.

My daughter will be turning 12 after October 22. How long will she have to become vaccinated before she is moved to a virtual unit?

Youth turning 12 later in 2021 are already eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in most jurisdictions. Therefore, at this time, girl members must be vaccinated when they turn 12 to participate in in-person activities. If a girl is not vaccinated at that time she will be automatically moved out of the unit and will be contacted regarding the transition to a virtual unit. If your region does not allow vaccine appointments to be booked before their 12th birthday, please see the answer to the next FAQ.

Provinces and territories with their own vaccine mandates may release guidelines on this in future, which may impact GGC’s procedures.

We live in a province/jurisdiction where we can not book a vaccine appointment for my daughter until her 12th birthday. Will there be a grace period available?

For girls turning 12 between July 22, 2021 and December 31, 2021 in jurisdictions where vaccine appointments cannot be booked before their 12th birthday, a grace period of three months will be provided. This grace period allows for changes in vaccine availability, flexibility in schooling and family schedules, as well as Health Canada's recommended 28-day window between first and second doses.

This grace period means that girls will not be removed from their unit unless they remain unvaccinated or partially vaccinated three months after their 12th birthday. Families will receive reminders to update their daughter's vaccination status over the course of these three months. If they are not fully vaccinated by the end of the grace period, they will be removed from their unit and contacted regarding moving to a virtual unit.

How did GGC make the decision on the October 22 deadline? This does not allow the necessary time for members to receive 2 doses.

We are trying to balance units, jurisdictions and provinces that are already impacted by vaccine mandates while also allowing some time for members to get vaccinations that have not already done so. If your daughter is not vaccinated by October 22 but is planning on being fully vaccinated we will be happy to move her back to an in-person unit or activity when she has self-declared as fully vaccinated.

My daughter’s whole unit is vaccinated - do we still need to complete the self-assessment before every in-person meeting, activity, or event?

Yes. To ensure the continued safety of our families and communities, all girls and volunteers must complete the COVID-19 Self-Assessment Check List prior to every in-person meeting, even if fully vaccinated. If you feel unwell, please stay home, and consult your provincial or territorial COVID-19 information to see if testing is required.

My daughter is partially vaccinated, can she still attend in-person Guiding?

Full vaccination status will be required to attend any indoor or outdoor in-person Girl Guide meeting, activity, or event. This applies to all girls 12+, adult members, and non-members in attendance.

If your daughter is partially vaccinated she will be moved out of her unit, and you will be contacted. Once it has been declared she is fully vaccinated, she may return to her in-person unit if possible, or another unit.

My daughter hasn't been vaccinated. How come she is being moved to a different unit or removed from her unit of choice?

To protect the safety of all our members, those who are not vaccinated will be moved to a virtual-only unit to participate in online-Guiding for the duration of the Guiding year, or until they become fully vaccinated.

My daughter is not vaccinated and will be transferring to a virtual unit. When/how will we receive these unit details?

If your daughter is not vaccinated, you will be contacted shortly after the declaration is made to arrange her transition to a virtual unit.

Our daughter is over the age of 12, is not vaccinated, and does not want to participate in a virtual unit. We want to cancel her membership.

Girl Guides of Canada’s current refund policies apply. Please see our refund guidelines for more information. To be eligible for a refund you must request it within 5 weeks of the unit meetings starting or from the date of registration if that was after the first meeting.

Vaccines are not mandated in my province, do I still have to self-declare my vaccination status with Girl Guides?

This policy applies to all members nationwide, regardless of provincial mandates.

While several provinces and jurisdictions have already implemented vaccine mandates which impact Guiding activities, the Girl Guides vaccination self-declaration system must be used in all provinces.

Does my daughter still need to wear a mask after she is fully vaccinated?

Masks continue to be an important tool in preventing the transmission of COVID-19, even for fully vaccinated individuals. Please refer to your Return to In-Person Guiding stage for mask requirements in your province or territory.

Do I need to be vaccinated to drop-off or pick-up my daughter from in-person Guiding meetings/activities?

No, vaccination is not required to pick-up or drop-off your daughter at an in-person Guiding meeting or activities. During pick-up and drop-off you must continue to follow the Return to In-Person Guiding protocols, including the requirement to physically distance at all times and remain outdoors for pick-up and drop-off.

As a parents/guardian do I need to be fully vaccinated to take part in cookie selling activities?

All members ages 12+, non-members, and parent/guardian volunteers must be fully vaccinated to take part in any in-person cookie selling activity that includes individuals from multiple households. This includes parents/guardians or other volunteers participating or helping in group sales, drive-through sales, door-to-door sales with a group of girls from more than one household, etc.

Girl Guides of Canada will not be confirming the vaccination status of parents/guardians who wish to sell cookies door-to-door with only their daughter(s) or members of their household.

Regardless of vaccination status, all regional COVID-19 regulations and Return to In-Person Guiding protocols must be followed when selling cookies.

I can’t find the answer to my question anywhere in the FAQs. Who can I contact for more information?

Thank you for taking the time to review the FAQ document to search for an answer to your question. If you have a question that was not addressed in these FAQs:
If you are a family looking for information for your daughter, please contact the Customer Care Centre at info@girlguides.ca.
If you are a Guider or adult member looking for information, please contact memberunitsupport@girlguides.ca.
Please note that we are experiencing a very high volume of emails and are adding staff to our teams so we can address your queries as soon as possible.

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